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"Timers", "This [] does not exist" & "This is water" by Victoria Spires


Understand this. It is an error to think that

One need obviates another. Picture the parts 

Of yourself as a row of egg timers: differing

Amounts of sand are left, your job is to watch, but


You cannot watch them all. Some

Will fall, 

Regardless of your attending to them, or not,

Some demand more. This one, which

Happens to contain some deep, essential

Grain of you, it scales

The same fascination with down as the rest -

Watch for a time, observe how quickly or



Run out

Is it possible to know,

The point at which more becomes less? 

This [] does not exist

And at times, we find we miss the gestural 

Exuberance of action painting, need

Some tension for things to feel real. Quick then

Slow then quick proliferation of a dangerous

Disquisition. Look away, and everyone’s a 

Mononym. It’s just how we learn about things

These days. Storms pass through; weather’s lossy 

Compression. What’s left? Sky damage, 

Dissociative trees. 

This is water 

After David Foster Wallace 

The trick is in where to place your attention

And where not to place it


Example one 

You're in up to your neck before you realise it's deeper 

Than comfortable, salt lapping chin - 

Barely a toehold on the bottom 

And you keep going 

And you keep going 

A kind of shuffle shuffle hop,

Because you want to give him this exact

Memory, floating, looking back at you, 

Laughter spraying from him as he kicks out of reach 

Example two 

Superhero minutiae

Example three 

His weight is a thing he heaps on you in sudden

Handfuls, warm and generous after sleep - 

He still tucks into you with a precision you don't 

Have to think about, while you try not to think about all the things

You should be thinking about. 

You let him eat the brownies in bed, just

To contain the gather of him a moment longer 

Example four

Even turbulence can be normalized with enough effort - 

When the wheels hit tarmac you'll find eight

Identical wet moons, on the softest part inside your cheeks,

Where you bit right through.

Victoria Spires grew her wings in the Norfolk fens, but now lives in Northampton, a place which claims to be in the middle of England, both geographically and tonally. Her poems scribble in the margins of obscure philosophy, overheard ideas, nature, the body, and love. Her work has been featured in Flight of the Dragonfly journal, Comfort Zone poetry anthology, The Nuthatch, The Poetry Lighthouse, Freeverse Revolution Lit, and The Winged Moon.

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